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Rebecca Project for Human Rights Applauds U.S. House Resolution 838 to Remove Seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from the Hague Due to the Netherlands Inadequately Investigating Allegations of Pedophilia against former Dutch Justice Ministry

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) calls on the U.S. Secretary of State to seek to remove the ICJ seat from the Hague, which is "undermined by its current location" because of the "inexplicable refusal of the Netherlands to formally investigate the serious allegations" against Demmink

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rebecca Project for Human Rights today applauds the Honorable Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, for introducing House Resolution 838 to seek the removal of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seat from the Hague, because of the "inexplicable refusal of the Netherlands to formally investigate the serious allegations" of pedophilia against former Dutch Secretary-General Joris Demmink. In House Resolution 838, which expresses "the sense of the House of Representatives that the Secretary of State should seek to amend Article 22 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice to move the seat of the Court from the Netherlands," the current ICJ seat in the Hague is declared "undermined by its current location" due to the inadequate investigation of the Demmink pedophilia allegations.  The House Resolution indicates efforts by the Dutch government to undermine the investigation into Demmink's alleged crimes by denying Demmink's instances of travel to Turkey in the 1990s, during which rapes of minor boys allegedly occurred; destroying Demmink's travel records with the full knowledge of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs; dismissing sworn testimony by witnesses; and denying investigators the formal authority to interview victims and witnesses in Turkey. The full text of House Resolution 838 is available here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hres838ih/pdf/BILLS-112hres838ih.pdf.

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights Executive Director Imani Walker and Policy Director Kwame Fosu issued the following statement: "The Dutch government must now realize that the time and efforts wasted on shielding a pedophile from prosecution are coming to an end. Former Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink has become an embarrassment to the Netherlands and his actions, as well as the Dutch government's refusal to investigate the allegations of pedophilia against him, may result in the removal of the International Court of Justice seat from the Hague.  As Congressman Smith states in House Resolution 838, the ICJ seat should be removed from the Hague because of the 'inexplicable refusal of the Netherlands to formally investigate the serious allegations' against Demmink.  Congressman Smith has taken the critical first step to bring Demmink to justice. While the Dutch government has been complicit in undermining the investigation into Demmink's alleged crimes, the victims of these crimes may now rely on the U.S. House of Representatives as well as brave members of parliament from the Council of Europe for justice."

During a October 4 U.S. Helsinki Commission Briefing – "Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking" – Chairman and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), in reference to the accusations against Secretary-General Joris Demmink, stated "It is imperative that the justice system be ready to listen to allegations and to thoroughly investigate allegations no matter when they are raised – and no matter who is accused."  According to a report on the briefing in the Catholic News Report, accusations of Demmink sexually abusing young boys in Turkey remain uninvestigated.  The report stated: "The boys' lawyer, Adele van der Plas, said that the criminal charges filed on behalf of these boys were never officially investigated, despite the availability of primary witnesses. One of the accusers has reportedly faced threats and abuse for coming forward with his story. Rather than investigate the matter, she said, the government accepted Demmink's claim that he was not in Turkey in the 1990s. While Turkish sources have evidence to suggest that this is not accurate, she said, 'there is considerable pressure exerted on the Turks by the Dutch not to reveal the truth.'"  According to van der Plas' testimony before the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Dutch authorities also deterred criminal investigations into pedophile networks of influential Dutch customers at boy brothels.

For more information on the criminal complaints against Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink, please visit www.ArrestDemmink.com. A transcript of the U.S. Helsinki Commission Briefing, Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking, can be found here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&title=Latest%20News&idsubmenu=135#.UHUnyLSOW0s.  A video of the hearing may be viewed here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/index.asp?idmenu=5&title=Testimonial%20Videos&idsubmenu=138#.UHUoI7SOW0s.  A letter from U.S. Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Joe Pitts (R-PA) to the EU Chairman of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue Steering Committee regarding Joris Demmink is available here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/downloads/Letter_to_Christian_Ehler_re_Joris_Demmink.pdf.

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights (RPHR) is a transformational organization that advocates for justice, dignity, and reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and internationally. For more information, please visit: http://www.rebeccaproject.org/index.php

SOURCE Rebecca Project for Human Rights

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